Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is naturally present in a number of fruits and vegetables. Above all, it helps to fight against oxidation and to strengthen our immune system. However, our body does not know how to synthesize it or store it. It is therefore essential to absorb it regularly to stay in good health.
What is vitamin C used for?
This antioxidant vitamin protects against cellular aging. It supports immunity by protecting immune cells from free radicals, and by stimulating the activity and mobility of white blood cells. It allows the synthesis of collagen, therefore the maintenance of the skin, gums, cartilages …
Anti-fatigue, it also contributes to the synthesis of adrenaline and noradrenaline and improves iron absorption. Allied against overweight, it helps burn fat and regulate blood sugar.
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Vitamin C is essential for maintaining muscle mass
In summer, when the stalls are overflowing with fruits and vegetables, we are delighted to know that in addition to feasting, we are doing ourselves good thanks to rich foods bursting with benefits. We think in particular to fill up with vitamin C, thanks to strawberries, peppers, or citrus fruits. We know well its antioxidant and energizing virtues, but what we know less is that it contributes to the maintenance of muscle mass. In fact, after the age of 50, the skeletal muscles – those linked to the bones – tend to decrease. Sufficient vitamin C intake (the equivalent of an orange per day, in addition to a portion of vegetables during a meal) and regular physical exercise can limit this phenomenon, to keep a good long time. tone. There are many solutions to maintain your health even on vacation. Crédit Agricole supports you with advice on how to make the most of the summer with friends or family, with your children and grandchildren. To feel fully confident, in all circumstances, consider subscribing to good health coverage. Discover Crédit Agricole complementary health insurance and choose an offer that suits your needs and your budget.
What are our daily requirements for vitamin C?
The National Food Safety Agency (ANSES) recommends that men and women over 18 take it 110 mg per day (source 1). However, many specialists consider this figure to be underestimated. The nutritional reference for the population (RNP) varies according to age:
- 20 mg / day for children 1 to 3 years old,
- 30 mg / day for children from 4 to 6 years old,
- 45 mg / day for children from 7 to 10 years old,
- 70 mg / day for children aged 11 to 14,
- 100 mg / day for adolescents aged 15 to 17,
- 120 mg / d for pregnant women,
- and 170 mg / day for breastfeeding women.
In addition, vitamin C requirements are increased in certain pathological situations (fracture, infection, cancer treatment, diabetes, etc.), with certain ways of life (smoking, intense sports activity, heavy alcohol consumption), during pregnancy and breastfeeding or in the event of malabsorption (celiac or Crohn’s disease).
What foods is vitamin C found in?
It is found in a wide variety of fruits, of vegetables, but also d‘aromatic herbs : blackcurrant, fresh or dried parsley, fresh thyme, kale, peppers, broccoli, kiwis, pesto, saffron, red fruits, oranges, watercress, white cabbage, grapefruit or pineapple again.
It is the most sensitive of the vitamins, and it deteriorates quickly on exposure to air, heat, light, and water! To refuel, the ideal is therefore, above all, to bet on raw vegetables and fruits, possibly sprinkled with lemon juice to limit oxidation. It is also important tobuy local and seasonal (or else to resort to frozen food), store cool (except banana and avocado) and to consume quickly after purchase. Make sure that the cooking time of the vegetables is short (steamed, smothered).
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How to avoid vitamin C deficiency?
To avoid vitamin C deficiency, additional intake is recommended among low consumers of fruits and vegetables, diabetics and the people with celiac or Crohn’s disease, in case of intensive sports practice, fracture, excessive alcohol consumption. It is, however, not recommended for smokersto supplement because this can increase the pro-oxidant nature of tobacco.
Herbal medicine (acerola …) or ascorbic acid, whatever the form, what matters is split the contributions (2 x 200 to 250 mg) to better assimilate it. Better also do not exceed 500 mg per day : even if the excess is eliminated in the urine, too large doses can cause digestive disorders or kidney stones, or even have pro-oxidant effects.